How does bilingual education change thoughts ?
Bilingual education not only provides the ability to speak two languages, it is also a great opportunity to develop several skills in different cognitive areas. A bilingual nursery school teaches children how to change their way of thinking to be more efficient and increases their assimilation of information which enhances their problem solving skills.
Bilingual children have to switch between both linguistic systems to correctly express themselves according to the situation. It’s like having an extra person in your mind in charge to control and filter any information going from the brain to the different way of expression : vocabulary, syntax, non speaking language, ...
The mental effort of choosing the correct word or grammatical form fitting the context is can result in the following positive outcomes:
- Fast and efficient data treatment : use the relevant information and inhibit the irrelevant one
- Heightens the ability to switch between different rules and use all of them correctly
- Development of specific memory skills: Makes it easier to learn a third language
The earlier the brain is trained for these types of permanent exercises between two different systems of thoughts the better the results will be. A young learner in abilingual primary school is far more capable of dealing with two different perceptions of the world than a teenager or a young adult. The reason why is simple : older brains have already been conditioned to process only one linguistic system.
When a child is able to control two different languages well, he/she acquires more skills in problem solving and great mental flexibility. These two areas are directly linked with social behaviour and learning how to control them early is a great help in the spheres of everyday decision-making and trouble-shooting the day to day problems which every student encounters.